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United States and South Korea Hold Large-Scale Military Exercises as War Fears Grow

08 December 2017

The joint USA and South Korean aerial armada includes American aircraft from the Air Force, Navy and the Marine Corps.

There's good reason why Pyongyang would not like these aircraft slipping under its radar.

China has condemned North Korean nuclear tests and gradually distanced themselves from their once-close ally, even backing United Nations sanctions against the fellow socialist country in September following a test of their nuclear program.

The drills follow reports last week that North Korea had successfully conducted another ballistic missile launch across Japan as the country continues to pursue its nuclear ambitions, as it continues to threaten both the US and South Korea with wholesale nuclear destruction.

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The exercises were of significant size: they included fighter jets, reconnaissance planes, early warning aircraft and surface-to-air missile batteries along the coast. The exercise gives aircrews and air support operations personnel from various airframes, military services and our Republic of Korea partners an opportunity to integrate and practice combat operations against realistic air and ground threats.

North Korea's state media confirmed the arrival of Feltman and his entourage late on Tuesday without offering more details. The aircraft arrived to Gwangju to participate in Vigilant Ace-18, a routine exercise on interoperability.

On Dec. 4, the US and South Korea kicked off their largest joint air exercise yet, dubbed Vigilant Ace 18, involving hundreds of aircraft and tends of thousands of troops on the ground. PLAAF spokesman Shen Jinke said that such exercises will be a regular occurrence in the future.

The United States Air Force and the Republic of Korea Air Force are kicking off their massive Vigilant Ace 18 annual wargames just days after the North Korea tested its Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile on November 28.

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There is also little hope that either the USA or DPRK will accept China's proposal of halting war games in return for a halt to Pyongyang's weapons program, a policy known as 'freeze for freeze'.

The White House might certainly consider sort of attempt to launch a disarming strike against North Korea.

The U.S. and China have a rocky history, but are far from going to blows.

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United States and South Korea Hold Large-Scale Military Exercises as War Fears Grow